Larry Ray Hafley


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Contending for the Faith

Anonymous Prays for Pat Robertson


(Author's Note: As you may recall, in the April-May, 2003, issue of Watchman Magazine, an article entitled, "Pat Robertson's Surgery," appeared. The article asked why Pat Robertson, a noted Pentecostal, had not received miraculous divine healing, rather than undergo surgery. An anonymous objector has responded. Since his criticisms are fairly common, perhaps a reply might be helpful - LRH).


"dear sir maybe you should read Ps105:15. and Matthew 7:1-2 as a matter of fact read the chapter.

what this man is or is not is Gods buisness. Rather than tear down a bretheren perhaps you should pray for Pat Robertson's recovery. I know I will be."

It is good to have a response, even an anonymous one, for no Pentecostal faith healer attempted to answer the questions posed by the article, "Pat Robertson's Surgery." Like Baal's silence in 1 Kings 18, their muteness loudly proclaims their spiritual impotence. As the article said, if our Pentecostal friends had the powers they claim the Holy Spirit gives them, Pat Robertson would not have had surgery. He would have been miraculously healed.

Now, to a review of our anonymous respondent, whom we shall call, "Trev." First, I have read Psalms 105:15-"Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm." Unfortunately for Trev, this warning was spoken in the midst of events in which God used miracles to accomplish his purposes, especially against those who assaulted his anointed. Are similar miracles being worked today? When the Egyptians "touched" the Lord's anointed nation, God's miraculous power was exerted. Trev, where are such miracles today (Cf. Acts 13:10)?

Second, the text says not to "harm" the Lord's "prophets." Since the miraculous gift of prophecy has ceased, neither you, Pat Robertson, or anyone else, is a prophet (1 Cor. 13:8-10).

Third, in what way have I "touched" or "harmed" the Lord's anointed? Pat Robertson upholds and supports miraculous divine healing. Yet, when he has a medical problem, he undergoes surgery like the rest of us. That is all I have said about Mr. Robertson. So where is the proof that I have violated Psalm 105:15? Please be specific.

Trev, I have read Matthew 7:1, 2, "Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again."

Trev, have you not "judged me" and thereby violated your own misuse of Matthew 7? You have accused and judged me of touching and harming the Lord's anointed and of "tearing down" a brother. You have "judged" me, implying that I have not obeyed Matthew 7 because I challenged the consistency of Mr. Robertson's doctrine and practice with respect to miraculous divine healing. Please explain, therefore, what allows you to "judge" me as being guilty of touching, harming, and tearing down another? In other words, show how I have disobeyed Matthew 7 while you, with your judgments against me, have not done so.

I have also read, as you suggest I do, all of Matthew 7. In order to avoid giving holy things unto men who are judged as "dogs," would not one have to make a judgment (v. 6)? Lest one be guilty of casting pearls before swine, would not one have to make a judgment (Cf. Matt. 15:14-"Let them alone.")? Would not one have to make some judgments in order to escape the broad way which leads to destruction (vv. 13, 14)? Would not one have to make certain judgements in order to "find" the narrow way which leads to life?

Certainly, these rhetorical questions show that one must "Judge righteous judgment" (Jn. 7:24). Matthew 7:1-5 forbids hypocritical judgment. Still, even in that very context, the Lord says one must be able to distinguish between himself and a brother and between a mote and a beam; that is, he must make a judgment (vv. 3-5)!

In that same chapter, Jesus says to "Beware of false prophets" (v. 15). To do so will involve some form of judgment (Cf. Rom. 16:17; 1 Jn 4:1). When Jesus says in verse 20, "By their fruits ye shall know them," does that not demand that a judgment be made of a man's "fruits"? That is what I was doing with respect to Pat Robertson. His doctrine says one thing ("miraculous divine healing is for believers today"), but his practice says another.

Next, Trev, you say that what Pat Robertson "is or is not is God's business." Well, why does not the same rule apply to me? If it is not my "business" what Mr. Robertson is, what "business" is it of yours what I am? If I cannot expose what Mr. Robertson "is or is not," what gives you the right to say what you think I am or am not? In a case like this, it is a poor rule which will not work both ways.

The Holy Spirit exposed the errors of false prophets and teachers, and he urges us to do the same (2 Tim. 2:16-18; 4:2-5; Titus 1:9-15; 2:15; Cf. Phil. 3:16, 17; 4:9). When Paul publicly rebuked the apostle Peter, if you had been there, would you have said to Paul, "What Peter is or is not is God's business, not yours?" If not, why not?

Finally, you say that rather than "tear down" a brother that I should pray for him. Trev, why did you not follow your own advice concerning me? Why did you attempt to "tear" me down in your reply, accusing me of violating Scripture and of tearing down a brother? Instead of doing that to me, should you not simply have prayed for me? If what I said in my article was an attempt to "tear down" Mr. Robertson, then your note to me was an attempt "tear" me down, too. If not, please explain what gives you the right to criticize my actions but forbids me to criticize Pat Robertson's.

Yes, it is right to pray for Pat's recovery, but, again, since he believes in miraculous divine healing as per the lame man in Acts 3:6, 7, in accordance with the teaching of Mark 16:17, 18, why does not one of his brethren heal him?

Trev, there is more that could, and, perhaps, should be said, but I shall stop here with the hope that you will respond and answer the questions posed. Please objectively reply to my initial article (reprinted below for your convenience) and then to this review of your condemnatory judgments against me. I look forward to hearing from you.

Presidential candidate, Senator John Kerry, is not the only one who recently had surgery to remove a cancerous prostate gland. Pat Robertson, he of the 700 Club, a socio-politico, religious television news program, had prostate surgery on February 22.

Mr. Robertson often has endorsed modern day miracle claims and has featured faith healers on his television program. One wonders why this man, who believes in the miraculous, divine healing power of the Holy Spirit today, needed to have surgery for his ailment. Seems to me that this would have been the perfect time for one of his miracle working preacher friends to have laid their hands on him and healed him. Since he surely had sufficient faith to be healed, why did he not call one of the prominent healers of this generation (Oral Roberts, for example), and ask them to rid him of his malady?

That Mr. Robertson had cancer of the prostate is beyond dispute. So, why did they not call for one of his miracles working friends to heal him? Better yet, why didn't one of them volunteer to do so? I mean, if I had such a gift, the very minute I heard that my friend, Pat Robertson, had such a serious disease, I would have insisted that I be allowed to come and pray that he might receive his healing!

Many times, he has joined hands in prayer with such folks on his television program. Many times he has sanctioned their work and given self proclaimed miracle working faith healers national credibility and acceptance. Why, then, rather than undergoing surgery, did he not go on television with several of his brethren and ask them to pray for him that he might receive the healing which he says is readily available for believers today?

Yes, one wonders.

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